Thoughts on Guns, Safety, and Freedom - Including Five Gun Control Rules I Support!
Life, liberty, and property are the foundation of any discussions about rights. These are universal and reciprocal measures to define the limits of anyone's sphere of authority and the boundaries of trespass against others. They also define when others have trespassed against you. This fits within the framework of the Golden Rule, the Zero Aggression Principle, and other ancient measures for civilized behavior.
When you are faced with an emergency, you are the first responder. You may need to render first aid or CPR before any professionals arrive in a medical emergency. You may need to use a fire extinguisher to stop a fire before it can grow. You may also need to respond to violent assailants with proportionate defensive violence for the same reason. A firearm is nothing more or less than property that can be used to defend life, liberty, and property from those who would trespass against them. It is the means by which free people maintain civilization.
Firearm ownership does not inherently violate the reciprocal rights of others. However, any form of "common-sense" government regulation necessarily means a threat to violate the life, liberty, and property of others if they do not comply with whatever arbitrary dictates the proponent calls "common-sense." And enforcement of such dictates necessarily means sending men with guns to do the dirty work.
No matter how much the hoplophobe may appeal to emotion, cherry-pick data, or insult any who question him, he is not the one holding the moral high ground. Look past his rhetoric to see the real threats he makes. Then discard them as the violent uncivilized nonsense they truly are.
Of course, any crime is a real problem. While violent crime has plummeted dramatically across the board over the past 30 years in the US, I do not wish to minimize the real concerns that drive the gun control agenda. But they misdiagnose the problem and then propose a poison as a cure. It is absurd to try stopping crime by committing more crimes under color of law.
A significant portion of violent crime is a consequence of government prohibitions creating the environment for violent black markets. Drugs are bad, but puritanical control freaks using violence to violate the rights of others are worse.
On a practical front, while it's hard to verify anecdotal evidence of firearms used defensively with no shots fired, evidence indicates that armed citizens can and do stop mass shootings before any mass numbers are shot. If that argument for gun control is, "If it even saves just one life," what about the situations where firearm freedom saved lives? The former is speculation supported by appeals to emotion, while the latter situation is supported by evidence.
I will say this in favor of gun control, though: control your own firearms. Teach your children to respect them. Keep them out of the reach of curious little hands. make sure you and your family understand the basic rules of firearm safety.
1. Always treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
If you can't see into the chamber, the gun is "hot." No exceptions.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
Always point a gun in a safe direction, preferably the dirt or an empty hillside.
3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
This means along the frame, outside the trigger guard.
4. Keep the gun on 'safe' until you intend to fire.
This only applies to firearms with a manual safety. Don't use the safety as an excuse to violate the other rules, though. Mechanisms fail at the worst possible times. The most important safety is between your ears.
5. Be sure of your target, and know what is beyond it.
Never shoot at sound or movement. If you don't know what it is, don't shoot. If someone or something past the target could be endangered by bullet over-penetration or a missed shot, don't shoot.
And there you go. Five rules for common-sense gun control I can support.